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American Sign Language: "rubber"

Hold an "x" hand near your upper right cheek (if you are right handed. Lefties do it on the left.)
 Move the hand forward and down.  The "X" brushes alongside the cheek as you move it forward and down. Repeat the movement.


This sign is not the same as "condom."  The sign "CONDOM" is done by holding up the non-dominant index finger as if representing an banana.  And then sliding the "hook" of your dominant "X" hand down the length of the banana

Well, actually some folks do use the sign RUBBER to mean either the material or the prophylactic. So, if you are about to get romantic, don't go getting into an argument about the "right" use of the RUBBER sign -- it would ruin the mood.



An ASL researcher asked:
"The sign you show in your dictionary for 'rubber.' Can that sign also be used to refer to 'soft-plastic' and 'vinyl?' Or not?"

Dr. Bill responds:
If you are talking about the X glancing twice forward and downward off of the lower right cheek (I'm right hand dominant) -- I would use that for either RUBBER or "rubber-like" substances (which could include stuff like vinyl or soft plastics). For "rubber-like" I'd use a mitigating facial expression (the type of expression you make when you think the thought "sort of") or add the "SAME-as" sign. I'd introduce the concept and spell "vinyl" then sign that it was "like" rubber. Then go ahead and sign RUBBER for the rest of that conversation.

For PLASTIC I use the "FLEXIBLE" sign (in context).



You can learn American  Sign Language  (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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